Acts 10:34-43

Acts 10:34-43
Easter C21


34 Then PeterA began to speak to them:B “I trulyC understandD that GodE shows no partiality,F, G 35 but in every nationH anyone who fearsI him and doesJ what is rightK is acceptableL to him. 

Notes on verses 34-35

A “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (a large mass of connected rock as a ledge, cliff, cave, or stony ground). This is Peter, stone, pebble, boulder. It is rock that is detached. This name seems to be original to the New Testament.
B Literally “having opened then Peter [his] mouth he said:”
C “truly” = epi + aletheia. Literally “on truth.” Aletheia is from alethes (true, truthful, unconcealed) [from a (not) + lanthano (unnoticed, concealed)]. This is truth not just in contrast to a lie, but also reality, sincerity, moral truth, straightforwardness. This is that which can’t be hidden. It is reality as opposed to illusion.
D “understand” = katalambano. 15x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, according to) + lambano (to actively take). This is to take with initiative or from self-interest, to grasp firmly or with force. Can also have a figurative sense of comprehending something. This is to possess in a literal or figurative sense.
E “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
F “shows…partiality” = prosopolemptes. 1x in NT. From prosopon (face, the front; can imply presence or a person) [from pros (at, toward, with) + ops (eye, face)] + lambano (see note D above). This is someone who accepts a face, who judges according to a person (i.e. their rank or status).
G Literally “not is one who shows partiality God.”
H “nation” = ethnos. Probably from etho (a custom or culture). This is people who are united by having similar customs or culture. Generally, it is used to refer to Gentiles. This is a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general. This is where the term “ethnicity” comes from.
I “fears” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
J “does” = ergazomai. From ergon (work, task, deed, action, employment; what is made); from ergo (to work); from erdo (to do). This is work, trade, do, practice, commit, gain by labor. Work as a task or as an occupation.
K “what is right” = diakiosune. From diakios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.
L “acceptable” = dektos. 5x in NT. From dechomai (to receive, accept, welcome; to welcome warmly). This is welcoming something because it is personally pleasing. That which is favorable or approved.

36 You know the messageM he sentN to the peopleO of Israel,P preachingQ peaceR by JesusS ChristT—he is LordU of all. 

Notes on verse 36

M “message” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
N “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up) [probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast]. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
O “people” = huios. Literally “sons.”
P “Israel” = Israel. From Hebrew Yisrael (God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring); from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel the people and the land.
Q “preaching” = euaggelizo. From eu (well, good, rightly) + aggelos (angel, messenger; a messenger from God bringing news – whether a prophet or an angel) [from aggellos (to bring tidings); probably from ago (to bring, lead, carry, guide).]. This is to announce goo news, preach glad tidings. It can be used of the people hearing the news or the good news itself. Used especially of preaching the gospel.
R “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day)
S “Jesus” = iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be) + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
T “Christ” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
U “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

37 VThat messageW spread throughout Judea,X beginning in GalileeY after the baptismZ that JohnAA announced:BB 

Notes on verse 37

V “you know” from previous verse is found here in the Greek.
W “message” = rhema. From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo  (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
X “Judea” = ioudaia. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judea, which was a Roman province.
Y “Galilee” = galilaia. From Hebrew galil (cylinder, rod, circuit, district); from galal (to roll, roll away, remove, trust, wallow). This is Galilee the region as well as the sea.
Z “baptism” = baptisma. From baptizo (to dip, sink, wash, submerge; used specially for baptizing); from bapto (dip, dye – covering something entirely with liquid). This is baptism is a literal or figurative sense.
AA “John” = ioannes. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel); from havah (to become); from hayah (to be, exist, happen) + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John.
BB “announced” = kerusso. To announce or preach something in a public setting and doing so persuasively and with conviction. Can also be acting as a herald or preacher.

38 how God anointedCC Jesus of NazarethDD with the HolyEE SpiritFF and with power;GG how he went about doing goodHH and healingII all who were oppressedJJ by the devil,KK for God was with him. 

Notes on verse 38

CC “anointed” = chrio. Related to “Christ” in v36. 5x in NT. This is to anoint with olive oil to show that they are appointed by God for a purpose or office i.e. king, prophet, priest, etc.
DD “Nazareth” = Nazareth. 12x in NT. Perhaps from netser (branch) OR from natsar (to watch, guard, or keep). Nazareth, meaning watchtower, guard place, preserved, or protected. This is a city in Galilee.
EE “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
FF “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
GG “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
HH “doing good” = euergeteo. Related to “does” in v35. 1x in NT. From eu (good, well done, rightly) + the same as ergon (see note J above). This is performing a service, doing good deeds. The noun form means benefactor or philanthropist.
II “healing” = iaomai. This is to heal or cure. Usually used in reference to physical illness, but sometimes used for spiritual concerns – to make whole literally or figuratively.
JJ “oppressed” = katadunasteuo. Related to “power” in v38. 2x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, according to) + derivative of dunastes (ruler, potentate, court official; one who holds a lot of power, a mighty one; literally someone who rules by force) [from dunamai (see note GG above)]. This is to overpower, treat harshly, or oppress. Properly, this refers to someone forcefully bringing another down – depriving them of position, right, or blessing. Can be tyrannizing or dominating – so, oppression.
KK “devil” = diabolos. From diaballo (to bring charges, usually maliciously; this is to slander, complain of, or accuse. In literal terms, it is throwing something back in forth whether tangibly or figuratively as with words, i.e. slander or gossip) [from dia (through, across, thoroughly) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)]. This is properly one who slanders or accuses falsely. This word was commonly used to refer to a backbiter – making charges just to bring down someone else. Used in the NT to refer to the Slanderer, the Devil.

39 We are witnessesLL to all that he did both in JudeaMM and in Jerusalem.NN They put him to deathOO by hanging him on a tree;PP 40 but God raisedQQ him on the third day and allowed him to appear,RR 41 not to all the peopleSS but to us who were chosenTT by God as witnesses, and who ateUU and drank withVV him after he roseWW from the dead. 

Notes on verses 39-41

LL “witnesses” = martus. A witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr.
MM “Judea” = ho + chora + ho + ioudaios. Literally “the region of the Jews.” Ioudaios is related to v37. From Ioudas (Judah, Judas); from Hebrew Yehudah (see note X above). This is Jewish, Jew, Judea.
NN “Jerusalem” = ierousalem. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
OO “put…to death” = anaireo. From ana (up, again, back, anew) + haireo (to choose, take, prefer) [perhaps related to airo (to raise, lift, take away, remove)]. This is to take up or take away, to make an end. So, it could be used for murder, killing, executing, and abolishing. It implies taking violently.
PP “tree” = xulon. Refers to something made of wood – a club or stab, a cross, stocks, a tree. Specifically used for the cross-piece carried by the prisoner on their way to their crucifixion. Can also refer to wood used as fuel for a fire or building material.
QQ “raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
RR “appear” = emphanes. 2x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + phaino (shine, bring to light, become visible, become clear) [perhaps from phos (light, radiance); from phaos (light, daylight); from phao (to shine or make visible)]. This is manifest, visible, openly.
SS “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
TT “chosen” = procheirotoneo. 1x in NT. From pro (before, in front of, above, ahead) + cheirotoneo (to elect by raising hands, choose by vote, send forth) [from cheir (hand; used figuratively for the means by which one achieves one’s purpose, agency)] + teino (to stretch). This word means those who were chosen beforehand or elected in advance.
UU “ate” = sunesthio. 5x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + esthio (to eat, consume; figurative for devour – more commonly literal). This is to eat in company with someone else.
VV “drank with” = sumpino. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + pino (to drink literal or figurative). This is to drink in company with someone else.
WW “rose” = anistemi. From ana (up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm). This is to raise up, set up, appear. Used figuratively for rising from the dead.

42 He commandedXX us to preachYY to the people and to testifyZZ that he is the one ordainedAAA by God as judgeBBB of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophetsCCC testifyDDD about him that everyone who believesEEE in him receives forgivenessFFF of sinsGGG through his name.”HHH

Notes on verses 42-43

XX “commanded” = paraggello. Related to “preaching” in v36.  From para (by, beside) + aggello (to announce, report) [from aggelos (see note Q above)]. This is to charge or give a command – came from military vocabulary. So, this is giving a command with full weight/authority.
YY “preach” = kerusso. Same as “announced” in v37.
ZZ “testify” = diamarturomai. Related to “witnesses” in v39. 15x in NT. From dia (through, on account of, across, thoroughly) + marturomai (witness, testify, afirm) [from martus (see note LL above)]. This is affirming solemnly, giving evidence, testifying, bearing witness. This refers to a witness that is full and clear.
AAA “ordained” = horizo. 8x in NT. From the same as horion (boundary – used for districts or territories); from horos (boundary, limit. This is marking off with boundaries – literally determining what the horizons will be. Used to mean determine, separate, appoint, declare, fix, predetermined.
BBB “judge” = krites. 19x in NT. From krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to just positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is judge, magistrate, or ruler – whether earthly or divine.
CCC “prophets” = prophetes. Perhaps related to “appear” in v40. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view). Phemi is from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is a prophet or poet. One who speaks with inspiration from God
DDD “testify” = martureo. Related to “witnesses” in v39 & “testify” in v42. From martus (see note LL above). This is to bear witness or give evidence.
EEE “believes” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
FFF “forgiveness” = aphesis. 17x in NT. From aphiemi (to send away, leave alone, release, allow to depart, abandon, lay aside, omit) [from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send, to go) {perhaps from eimi (to be)}]. This is properly sending something away, a dismissal or letting go. Figuratively, this could be releasing someone from obligation or debt which could mean freedom, liberty, or pardon – thus, forgiveness.
GGG “sins” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin). Hamartano is from a (not) + meros (a part or share). Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
HHH “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.

Image credit: “Miraculous Draught of Fishes” by Raphael, 1515.

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